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School workers approve strike mandate

When students return to school this fall, they could be behind picket lines.

CUPE B.C. officials say 27,000 education assistants, clerical staff, trades, aboriginal workers, youth and family workers, custodians and bus drivers have voted in favor of a strike.

The strike mandate covers almost all of the unions 57 locals and 53 school districts across the province, including Victoria.

Strike action is expected to take place at the beginning of September, though exact dates have not been confirmed.

“What we want is a fair pay raise,” said Jan Peever, president of CUPE 459 and South Vancouver Island representative on the CUPE BC K-12 Presidents' Council for bargaining. “There needs to be an infusion of new money. We don't blame the (school) districts at all.”

CUPE workers have not had a pay increase in four years.

“The frustration of our workers has been overwhelming,” said Peever. “We do need to see some change.”

 

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